Semi-Detached Houses: Meaning, Features, Pros & Cons


House hunting can be taxing, especially when considering all the different houses found around the UK. One of the most sought-after properties is a semi-detached house. But what is a semi detached house? What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in such a house, and how does it compare to other house types in terms of price?

What Is a Semi Detached House - Image 1

House Types in the UK

There are several different house types in the UK, and before you choose a style of house for your home, it’s best to familiarise yourself with all of them.

Detached House

This kind of house is fully detached, i.e., not sharing walls with another building. It has a front and back garden and provides more privacy than other house types.

Semi Detached House

This house shares a wall with an existing structure, making it more affordable than a detached house but not as private.

Terraced House

Terraced houses are built in a single row with shared walls on both sides of the house.

End-of-Terrace House

The difference between semi detached and end of terrace houses is that end-of-terrace houses are at the end of a row of houses, sharing only one wall, while semi-detached houses belong to a two-part property.


Cottages are traditional UK homes, found in rural areas and often used as holiday homes. They are independent structures, one or two storeys high.


Commonly found in the countryside, this type of house is one storey, separated from other properties.


These housing properties are part of a larger building, often found in urban areas because they don’t take up much space.


A duplex is similar to the semi detached house meaning. The difference is that duplexes are two-storey flats within a larger building, but the interior design is similar to a semi-detached house.


This is the largest and most expensive house type in the UK. It’s very spacious, but most can rarely afford such a property.

These are the different types of houses you can spot in the UK. The following section defines in more detail what a semi-detached house is.

DID YOU KNOW? There are more than 25 million residential properties in the UK, including all types of properties, from detached houses to bungalows.

What Is a Semi Detached House?

A semi-detached house is a single-family home sharing a common wall with another property on one side. This house is a mirror image of the house next to it, with symmetrically opposite design—making the opposite sides of the walls the same. So if the shared wall in one house, for example, is in the bedroom, it will also be in the bedroom of another house.

Even though there’s a shared wall, these houses come with a certain level of privacy that includes a portion of a front and back yard.

Maintaining a Semi-Detached House

What is the semi detached house maintenance requirements? Any maintenance required is up to the owner, and renovations can be challenging due to the shared wall. Any change you wish to make to the interior or exterior of the house must be done in consultation with the next-door neighbour.

DID YOU KNOW? The first semi-detached houses in the UK were built in the 17th century. Landowners were looking for cheap housing solutions for their labourers while trying to make the house look as grand as possible—hence the semi-detached house design.

Are Semi Detached Houses Affordable?

One of the most critical aspects of the semi-detached house meaning is its affordability. Buying a semi-detached house is significantly cheaper than buying a detached house while still suitable for family life.

Getting a mortgage for a semi-detached house is also more straightforward, with smaller down payments and lower monthly repayments. The average price of a semi-detached home stands at £280,090, which varies significantly depending on where you want to live in the UK.

Semi Detached Rentals

Since these houses are affordable, the prospective owner often buys both halves of the semi, then lets out one part of the house while living in the other half. The rent payments can help the owner pay the mortgage.

What is a semi-detached house and how can it be divided is often asked when considering letting instead of buying. Rent for a semi-detached house is higher than for a terraced house or flat. So if you want to rent out a semi-detached house, you’ll probably need a guarantor.

DID YOU KNOW? Semi-detached houses are the most common type of residence in the UK, with 8,060,657 occupied by Brits (31.86% of all UK-occupied properties).

Key Takeaways

Detached, semi detached, and terraced houses are some of the common types of houses in the UK.
Semi detached houses share a common wall with another property on one side of the structure.
A semi-detached house is the mirror image of the house standing next to it.
Semi-detached houses are more affordable than detached houses but are less spacious and less private.
The neighbours of the adjacent semi must be consulted about any maintenance and renovations.

Pros and Cons of Living in a Semi Detached House

What does a semi detached house mean regarding advantages and disadvantages?


  • More privacy than a terraced house or flat
  • Garden space
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for family life
  • Reduced heat and cooling costs


  • Less privacy than a detached house
  • Less spacious than independent structures
  • Noise transfer
  • Maintenance and renovations can be tricky
  • Close proximity to neighbours
  • Limited parking space

Before deciding on a semi detached house, you need to weigh everything and determine if the pros outweigh the cons.

DID YOU KNOW? Approximately three million semi-detached homes were built in the UK between World Wars I and II.

Detached vs Semi Detached House

The detached house is a free-standing building, not connected to any adjacent structures. It does not have shared walls or shared garden space with another house, making it significantly more private than a semi-detached house.

Another striking difference between a detached and semi-detached home is that when purchasing a detached home, you also buy the land it’s built on. When you buy a semi-detached house, you have shared ownership of the land that the structure is built on—meaning that you can’t make any changes before consulting your neighbour.

Which Is Better?

Understanding the apparent advantages of a detached house, what is a semi detached property suitable for? Semi-detached properties are more affordable compared to fully detached properties. But while maintenance costs for detached properties are higher, owners have more freedom with renovations.

Both properties have their share of positive traits. Still, you should decide based on your situation. Income and family size are often determining factors when deciding on a home type.

DID YOU KNOW? A homeowner in the UK will buy their first home at age 26, downsize to a smaller house at 56, pay off two mortgages, and live in seven different properties in a lifetime.


Our guide has sought to help you better understand the meaning of a semi detached house, with its advantages and disadvantages. Choosing this type of property as your next home depends on your needs and circumstances. In any case, a semi-detached house is a good choice. Whatever you decide to do, ensure you’re making the right choice for yourself and your family.


What is the difference between detached and semi-detached house?

A detached house is a free-standing residence not connected to other properties, while a semi-detached house is connected to another property on one side with a common wall.

What does semi-detached mean in UK?

What is a semi detached house in the UK? It’s a house attached to just one neighbouring house, as a part of a block of just two houses.

What’s the difference between duplex and semi-detached?

A duplex is a two-storey flat with an inner staircase connecting the two floors, usually in a residential building. On the other hand, semi-detached houses include one-half of a larger house split in two.


Alex is an IT wizz gone SEO gone fire-juggler. We’re not even joking. When he isn’t researching why one personal loan is better than the other and which piece of hardware you should buy next, he’s rollerblading or selling homes (because he does that, too, the smarty-pants).

Latest from Aleksandar

Which US Banks Offer 5% Savings Accounts? A Guide to Living Off the Grid [7 Things You Need to Know] How to Become an Appraiser in 2024 How to Flip Houses With No Money in 2024

Leave a Reply